Flooding in Scotland shows need for strong climate change targets

  • 19 Mar 2014
  • General News

David Cameron must remember the casualties of climate change in the UK and around the world when he discusses new European greenhouse gas targets, campaigners say.

The Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition says the Prime Minister and other EU leaders should keep in mind the extreme weather which hit parts of the UK earlier this year, including Dumfries & Galloway and other areas of Scotland.

Campaigners say that climate change is increasing the risk of floods at home and abroad, causing upheaval for people in the UK and the potential for catastrophe for millions of people in poorer countries like Bangladesh.

They were speaking before a European Council meeting of government chiefs tomorrow (Thursday 20 March), where the Prime Minister and other leaders will discuss new EU climate targets for 2030.

Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “Climate change is happening, it’s being created by humans, and it’s threatening the health of people and environments in Scotland and across the globe.

“Scotland has just had its wettest winter on record. Climate change could push up winter rainfall in Scotland by as much as 15% or more by 2050, leading to increased risk of flooding. People in Dumfries & Galloway and other areas of the UK know about the terrible impact that has on families, homes and businesses.

“But the problems will be even bigger for people in South Asia and other areas of the globe. David Cameron and other politicians need to remember the casualties of climate change, and put in place strong climate laws that help protect people now and in the future.”

Stop Climate Chaos has launched an urgent email action, urging people to write to David Cameron, asking him to ensure that the new targets keep Europe on track to limit the global temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees – the maximum safe level identified by scientists.

Campaigners fear that the EU’s new targets will come nowhere near that. The European Commission has recommended a cut in carbon emissions of just 40% on 1990 levels by 2030.

Stop Climate Chaos says the Council should look at the example set by Scotland’s Climate Change Act, which has legally-binding emissions targets of 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Tom Ballantine said: “EU climate policy is important. It will shape Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy development until 2030.

“If our targets are strong, we will create an example for other countries around the world. Our Prime Minister must push hard for targets that will have a real impact on climate change.”